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Guest Post: Playing Around with Lore by Eleni Konstantine

Please welcome author Elini Konstantine to the blog today!

Playing Around with Lore by Eleni Konstantine

EleniKonstantine_headshot_bwI was having a chat with some writers the other day about writing stories that have supernatural creatures. One lady asked if you had to stick to the lore/mythos of those creatures? My brief and so eloquent response – ‘nah’.

But of course there is a justification to this – Keep changes consistent.

Let’s talk vampires . The one thing that can’t be changed with vampires is the lore of taking blood – from whatever source. That’s what a vampire needs to survive, either for food or energy. Goodie, baddie, indifferent.

What you can do though, is vary it – J.R. Ward’s vampires in her Black Dagger Brotherhood series consume food, but still get their blood feed from a vampire of the opposite sex. In the TV series, Buffy and Angel, Angel’s blood supply is from a butcher when he has a soul, while as Angelus, he butchered people. Twilight good vamps also get their sustenance from animals.

Usually it’s the humans or newcomers into this supernatural world who make comment about any differences to the common lore. However, what about when there’s a change and there is no mention. In Being Human (UK – I haven’t watched the US version yet), Mitchell is a vampire and all vampires can walk in the day light.

I can’t recall them ever mentioning why unless it was a throw away line (‘darned movies/books got it wrong’-type thing). It just is. Does that bother me? Nope, not one bit. It’s the way this TV world works. It doesn’t necessarily have to be explained. If one of the vamps suddenly couldn’t go out in the daylight, then it would bother me. Why? Lack of consistency.
Blade (comic and movie hero) is a hybrid and is the reason he can walk in the daylight when other vamps can’t. Though in one of the movies, the villain vamp slathered on heaps of sunscreen to go out during the day. It looked pitiful. And not very believable. Though it seemed worked better many years in the TV series, The Gates.

Keri Arthur’s vamps in her Riley Jensen Guardian series can go into the daylight after they have been vamps for many years (so fledglings can’t), but still feel uncomfortable in the middle of the day.
Many hate with a passion what Stephenie Meyer did with her vamps – they sparkle if they go out in direct sunlight. So what’s with the negativity? I’m not sure. Does it go against vamps being tough maybe? Forget the fact they can rip the heads off each other? Whether you like the sparkle thing or hate it – it is one thing – consistent.

Have I written vampires? Yes. In my upcoming novelette, SNOOP, from Musa Publishing (release date still be confirmed) the supernatural creatures are not hidden. Nope, they are out and about in the world. Do I give a reason? Nope, it’s just they way it is in this world. Supernatural beings and humans exist side by side.

What do you think? Should we stick to the lore or should we shake things up?

My current release is the paranormal romance novella, Gateway to Hell, which is about demons not vampires. Though vamps are mentioned.

gatewaytohell-500-1

Zeta will protect the one she loves, even if it means living in Hell.

Mastering a unique power was much safer for Zeta Kosmos with a mentor to help her along. Now that he’s disappeared, Zeta must continue alone with her calling—closing Gateways to Hell.

Daniel Richards is in the family business—Warding supernatural evil from causing havoc on humans. As such, he’s only interested in the safety of one-night stands. Until Zeta. This bad boy now wants a long, lasting relationship.

But Zeta can’t let go of her past, nor can she ignore the secret demonic threats against Daniel’s life. She’d rather fight demonic spawn and be dragged into Hell than allow anything happen to him. Can Daniel convince her to stay? Will she have to pay the ultimate price?

Available from Musa Publishing

Eleni Konstantine is fantasy and paranormal fiction author who is published in short story and novella forms.

You can find her on her webpage: http://elenikonstantine.com, on her blog Eleni’s Taverna, Twitter @ElenisKafe and Facebook.

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35 thoughts on “Guest Post: Playing Around with Lore by Eleni Konstantine

  1. I love the twists authors take on old lore to give them new life. This was a great post, Eleni. And though I still haven’t read Gateway to Hell, it is on my TBR list…along with many others that are taking backburner to text books. Yes, I am pouting right now!

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  2. I came. I saw. I played! Enjoyed your post, Eleni! There’s something to breaking the rules once in a while – that’s how people stand out. So best wishes for being outstanding! Cheers!

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  3. You echoed my thoughts, Eleni. The more I read, the more authors I see tweaking the abilities/weaknesses of various supernatural beings – and if you read widely in the paranormal genre, as I do, you actually like finding a nice new twist on lore.

    When I was researching lore for my series, I often found myself on fantasy websites or forums for role-playing games, where the creators had specified the ‘rules’ for the creatures/people in the games. In one RPG you might find that a certain creature could do this but not that, or that they were vulnerable under specified conditions – then in another RPG the same sort of beings would have completely different abilities or vulnerabilities.

    The field is wide open for authors, and I love it as both a reader and a writer,

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  4. I have no problem with changing the lore…most lore is a mass of contradictions anyway. As a reader, I only find it problematic if the writer fails to explain it or if it is inconsistently used. That drags me out of the story.

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  5. I think anything is possible. That is what so wonderful about writing spec fiction. Things need to consistent and make sense in the world you have created. Thanks for the insight Eleni

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  6. What a great discussion! Thanks, Eleni, for bring the topic to the SGLSF blog. In general, I think something new or a twist on the lore is great. I do think that if you choose something very familiar, like vampires, you need to keep enough of the lore to satisfy those who are fans of that lore–from there you can twist all you like!

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  7. Excellent post Eleni.
    I do believe that we should know all the rules and then test them and break them. As you say they will all have that common thread that a vamps sustenance is through blood. On vampire diaries they can go out into the sunlight but only if they wear a special ring and that really works for the show.
    Smiles,
    Efthalia

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  8. I had read and loved L. J. Smith’s Vampire Diaries before it even became a show. Ah time…seems too be that there are never enough hours in the day.

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  9. Great post Eleni. The wonderful thing about being a writer is that you can make anything happen, as long as its consistent and you can show a reason to make it believable for the reader.

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  10. A very interesting post and you made a valid point. Regardless of whether you like the infamous “sparkle” effect or you prefer a more traditional portrayal of vampires, in writing about the creatures of the Lore your imagination, and perhaps – to some extent at least- the laws of physics, are the limit. As you said, as long as there is consistency, some underlying reason/mythos explaining their special abilities, the Reader can still enjoy a good story. After all, what is the Lore based upon if not on a rich collection of verbal stories, told and expanded through generations.

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    • Thanks for stopping in Nudge Wink Wink. I agree – the oral tradition is very rich and stories changed constantly. Something about writing things down made people a little cranky when the ‘lore/mythos’ was changed without realising it had been doing that for many years before then.

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